MADRID (Xinhua) – FC Barcelona moved back to the top of the Liga Santander on Tuesday after a 5-1 win at home to Valladolid thanks partly from a magnificent display from Leo Messi, who scored two goals and gave two assists.
Barca went into the game after not playing at the weekend since Saturday’s Clasico at home to Real Madrid was postponed due to the ongoing situation in the Catalan Region of Spain. That meant Barca were well rested.
Clement Lenglet opened the scoring in the third minute after a deflected shot and although Kiko Olivas drew the visitors level after 15 minutes, Arturo Vidal restored Barca’s lead from close range after a Leo Messi pass in the 29th minute.
Messi made it 3-1 with a free kick in the 34th minute as Barca threatened to run away with things.
Ansu Fati saw a good chance saved by Valladolid keeper Jordi Masip 10 minutes into the second half and from the resulting corner Lenglet headed just wide.
The teenager, who will turn 17 on Thursday, was replaced by Antoine Griezmann in the 63rd minute.
Ivan Rakitic sent up Messi for his second of the game with 15 minutes remaining as Barca continued to dominate and a minute later Messi again turned provider for Luis Suarez to score Barca’s fifth of the night.
Luis Suarez, Messi and Vidal had further chances later in the second half in which Barca rarely looked to be in trouble.
Tuesday’s other game saw Atletico Madrid draw 1-1 away to Deportivo Alaves.
Alvaro Morata came off the bench to put Atletico ahead with his third goal in three games in the 69th minute, but Lucas Perez’s magnificent individual goal ensured a point for both sides with eight minutes left to play.